1. 'Change' - Six By Seven
The immense opener of an immense album. God knows where the reborn intensity and fire-in-the-belly passion has come from, but I for one am delighted Chris Olley and co are back, and in such splendid form.
2. 'Stoned And Starving' - Parquet Courts
Light Up Gold is a good record (if perhaps not quite deserving of the universal praise that's been flung in its direction), but this is by far and away the standout track: Television via Pavement.
3. 'The Red Wing' - Fuck Buttons
The first official single from Slow Focus, the dynamic duo's chart-bothering but blissfully uncompromising third album. Hats off once again to Danny Boyle for helping something this insidious to infiltrate the mainstream.
4. 'Eternal Return' - Locrian
Now here's a band who DO appear to have compromised. But then when you're an experimental drone/death metal act, there's certainly plenty of scope for that. Thanks to my chum Max Power for pointing me in the direction of the Chicagoans new album Return To Annihilation, from which 'Eternal Return' is the first track.
5. 'The Ukelele Anthem' - Amanda Palmer
A song that sounds great whether performed by its composer at Occupy Wall Street or by a stranger in the rain at a friend's barbeque-cum-mini-festival.
6. 'Monoliths' - Lotus Plaza
Spooky Action At A Distance continues to provide the perfect hazy soundtrack to my summer.
7. 'Pulled Up' - Talking Heads
When I finally got round to investigating Talking Heads properly, starting at the very beginning with Talking Heads: 77, I wasn't anticipating that anything would monopolise my affections ahead of 'Psycho Killer', but there you have it. 'Pulled Up' has that distinctive New York feel to it (the one Parquet Courts are exploiting), but with a neat new wave twist.
8. 'Brassneck' - The Wedding Present
Such a superbly angry, itchy rhythm. And top marks to David Gedge and company for some exemplary late 80s indie haircuts.
9. 'I Can Dream' - Charlotte Church
Yes, really. This is completely and utterly bonkers. Since when did she morph into someone making extraordinary records like this while talking up the likes of Trans Am in interviews?
10. 'Wet Blanket' - Metz
This Canadian trio got a mention in my recent post about Sub Pop, and 'Wet Blanket' goes a long way to proving my point that the label certainly hasn't turned its back on explosive guitar bands.